Author Archives: Brandon Dilbeck

Glittery Heart Card


It’s Valentine’s Day weekend! I made Andrew this card.

Big Heart Valentine's Day Card

For the heart, I printed a heart shape onto ordinary printer paper, transferred it onto the back of very glittery red cardstock using carbon paper, and then cut it out. I really like this super glittery paper.

The pink cardstock behind is shimmery. I used a “lace” corner puncher on the corners; I tend to have really bad luck with these things because it often feels like the paper is shoved all the way into the corner puncher, but then after I punch, I find that I’ve missed. I’ve taken to holding the corner punchers upside-down so that I can see where it will punch before I punch it. Then I embossed the pink cardstock.

Card Embossed with Stripes

I also embossed the red cardstock which makes the base of the card. The picture above shows the inside of the card. Andrew thought it was cool how the pattern seems to “flip” over the fold; it came out that way because I embossed it while the card was folded closed. I think it yielded a cool effect, preventing the card from feeling flat, and it gave it a texture that feels good to hold. I think I’ll try embossing the base cardstock like this a little more often.


Save the Date Card


Sorry there haven’t been any updates in a while. Andrew and I have some good news, though: We are engaged! We will be married in June. We are registered on Amazon. 🙂

For our save the date cards, we wanted to include our cats, since they are very much a part of the family. We love our kitties. We adopted Peach first, from PAWS last May. She is a very vocal cat, around 10 or 11 years old. Just a few weeks after that, we adopted Koopa and Goomba together from Andrew’s friend, who couldn’t bring the cats with her in a move. They are said to be brothers, about six years old; Koopa is very protective of Goomba. Goomba loves cuddling almost as much as treats; Koopa loves to eat but also enjoys playing with his rattling mousey toy. They are named after Super Mario characters.

Cats on the Couch

The first step in making our cards was to photograph our cats! From left to right, we have Goomba, Koopa, and Peach. Andrew was inspired by pictures like these on Pinterest. The cats were not terribly cooperative, and we knew we wouldn’t be able to get them all to sit still for one picture, so we took pictures of the cats individually and I combined them in Photoshop. Besides, we have only one little chalkboard! We took about 160 photos of the cats, propping up the chalkboard with cans and baiting the kitties with treats. You can view some of our favorite individual kitty shots in this Facebook album.

Butterfly Save the Date Cards

The front of the card nearly the same as the Embossed & Sanded Butterfly Card Andrew wrote about in September. The butterflies are held onto the card with brads. I am always nervous mailing cards that have brads in them, since these little bumps can cause the cards or envelopes to become damaged in the post office’s machinery. But they seemed to make it just fine through the mail. To make the cards stand out a bit more and give it a little more of a fancy flair, we sprayed some shiny metallic mist on the gray and blue panels. We decided that gold spray looked better with the gray and silver looked better with the blue.

Save the Date Card Inside

Inside is the cat photo and another of Andrew and me, held in place with little clear adhesive photo corners. When people received the card, they told me what a great picture was inside! I was usually disappointed to know that they were talking about the one of Andrew and me, and not the one of our kitties that we worked so hard on.

Hot Air Balloon Card


I thought a hot air balloon would be a good choice for a farewell card. I’m not sure why; I’m sure most people don’t think of hot air balloons as a means of travel for people who are moving away or leaving a job. Perhaps a moving truck would have been a more appropriate choice for a card like this, but I think I like the balloon idea better.


I based the design on a card I saw on Pinterest. I used a three layers for the balloon (and one for the basket). Repeating the pink layer on top gives the balloon quite a bit of depth. I like how it turned out, making the balloon look a little more three-dimensional. Using the fancy paper with the golden accents made the balloon look a little less cartoony, I believe. The clouds are made from some fibrous semi-translucent paper, which allows the background to come through a little bit.

Embroidered Tulip Cards


In an auction, Andrew and I won a paper embroidery lesson held at the teacher’s house. We’ve never really incorporated thread into our cards unless you count the floss threaded as dotted line trails in the Airplanes card. We spent two hours learning how to make the tulip card. This is the card I made:

Brandon's Embroidered Tulip

Making a card like this isn’t very difficult once you know what to do and have the right supplies. You can start with a pattern like the one seen below.

Embroidered Tulip Pattern

Our instructor punched out the pattern onto cardstock for us. It’s not difficult—you can just punch a pin through cardstock, using a pattern on top as a guide. Repeatedly gripping the pin and puncturing the paper can be a bit painful though after a while.

We picked the colors of thread we wanted. You can use one or more colors for the flower. Each piece of thread is composed of several strings raveled together. We unraveled this to get just one string, then threaded it through a needle. We then followed the pattern, as explained below.

Count nine dots down along the curve of the tulip’s flower. Starting through the back, pull the string through; you want only a single thickness of string. Before you pull it through completely, tape the string to the back of the card. Go up through the top point of the card, then go through the next hole toward and eventually past the center of the curve, until you get to the ninth hole down the other side. For the other two points, you again go through the ninth hole down, going up to the point on the opposite point of the curve. Study the picture or pattern closely before doing this, because one of the five students in our class had to start over twice because she didn’t get it quite right. If you start to run out of string, just tape the rest onto the back, get another piece of string, and continue from where you left off.

The stem and leaves are done by what I can best explain as a back stitch (but the underside of a back stitch). You want the any given point to be covered by string twice. This helps to hide the holes. I think I’m not great at explaining this, so I hope you can find something that works well for you.

Andrew's Embroidered Tulip

Above is Andrew’s tulip. He chose a nice, vibrant red. Be careful not to tug too hard when pulling your string, or you might end up tearing the paper, as seen in the bottom-right of the flower part of Andrew’s design. He pulled so hard that one hole ripped. Also, if you pull too hard, you might make the holes bigger, causing them to stand out, as you can kinda see in my design at the top. Then again, you don’t want the string to be too loose.

Finished Embroidered Tulip Cards

Here are all five of the cards created in the paper embroidery class. I think it might be a complete coincidence that we each made a different-colored flower. Our instructor cut out the rest of the cardstock required for us to finish our cards, allowing us to finish putting them together. I think our cards all turned out great.

I enjoyed learning this new technique. It takes up a bit of time, but I like learning how to use different media besides cardstock in our cards. We might even incorporate it into our annual bulk Christmas card design. We’ve already discussed the possibility of using our die-cutter machine to make the holes in the cardstock for us, to speed up that one first step.

Baby Sleeping Sign


I went to my cousin’s condo once and greeted everyone by saying hi. In return, I was told to be quieter: the baby was sleeping. This was apparently not the only time for this to happen while my cousin’s daughter was napping, so my cousin asked me to make a sign for her to hang on a hook on her front door to warn visitors of nap time.

Baby Sleeping Sign with Two Ducks

Her request was very open-ended. I thought about making the sign say “Shhh… Baby Napping” but my cousin is expecting a second baby this fall, and I figured she might want to use the sign when both babies are sleeping. So I went with “Shhh… Nap Time” instead.

The letters are cut out from blue cardstock, allowing a shimmery yellow cardstock to be seen through the holes. In addition, the sign needed a cute little animal sleeping, and I know my cousin’s daughter likes duckies, so I cut out a little sleeping duck and glued it on.

As she is pregnant with a baby boy, I also cut out a blue duck for her. The blue duck is currently not glued onto the sign. She can glue it on herself after the baby is born.

Butterfly Picture Frame Card


Andrew made this card for a coworker.

Butterfly Frame Card

The front of the card has a panel with a large hole in it, behind which Andrew can slide or glue in a photo. The panel was embossed in our Sizzix Big Kick embossing machine. Andrew punched five butterflies out of some beautiful paper from India; he really loves using his butterfly punch. The butterflies are held on with brads.

As it was the last day at the company for Andrew’s coworker, Andrew decided it would be nice to print a collage of his coworkers’ faces to slide into the card.

Stamped Flowers Card


For his mom’s birthday, Andrew made this pretty card.

Flowery Stamp Card

He bought a pretty flower stamp and used a variety of colors for an emanation of a pretty bouquet. He used orange because he likes orange, and the pink and purple went along with it. His stamp came with other corresponding stamps for the inner parts of the flowers (instead of just the colorful petals) but Andrew was afraid that adding more stamps on top of the flowers would muddy the card or make it darker.